SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office announced the end of an undercover narcotics operation that started in 2019, leading to 16 individuals charged and sentenced for their involvement in selling and distributing methamphetamine in the Nokomis area.
Operation: Ice Mama has concluded, with the final defendant taking a plea deal in Sarasota County .
The sheriff’s office said the operation started after an investigation in October 2018. It started with the investigation of Jennifer “Mama Jen” Lambert, who had created a network for drug sales and distribution, according to the sheriff’s office.
Over eight months, the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office’s Special Investigation Section “worked to identify Lambert’s associates and others who may be involved in her network.” The operation itself started in May 2019, and was “aimed at infiltrating a large drug trafficking ring responsible for distributing methamphetamine throughout the Sarasota County area.”
During the investigation, SCSO said “detectives identified three of Lambert’s counterparts, all mid-level dealers in Sarasota County.” In total, 16 individuals were arrested for their involvement. The sheriff’s office said the individuals had previous criminal histories.
Collectively, “the 16 people arrested during Operation Ice Mama have 156 prior felony charges with 49 convictions and 149 prior misdemeanor charges with 72 convictions. Significant prior charges include Murder, Aggravated Battery and Burglary.”
During the operation, the sheriff’s office said nearly 300 grams of meth, two firearms, and a variety of other “illicit drugs” were seized and entered into evidence. Sheriff Tom Knight said it was one of the “most significant methamphetamine seizures to date” for the agency, in 2019.
While the seizures occurred and everyone was charged that year, the sheriff’s office said the start of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the end of the effort. Operation: Ice Mama was not considered concluded until the last defendant had been through court and faced justice.
On June 15, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said the operation was over, “culminating last week when the final defendant took a plea. Over the last year, detectives have been involved in multiple depositions and put in an extraordinary amount of effort, working towards a successful resolution.”
According to the sheriff’s office, the defendants were sentenced as follows.
- Jennifer Lambert – 10 years Department of Corrections/ 5 years’ Probation
- Robbie Cain – 10 years Department of Corrections / 5 years’ Probation
- Randy Greene – 10 years Department of Corrections / 5 years’ Probation
- Erik Walker – 7 years Department of Corrections / 18 months’ Probation
- Walter Lint- 5 years Department of Corrections
- Scott Hill- 3 years Department of Corrections
- Ronda Gibson- 3 years Department of Corrections / 2 years’ Probation
- Bobby Jo Whiting- 2 years Department of Corrections
- Heather Johnson- 1 year County Jail/ 2 years’ Probation
- Drew Tilson- 1 year County Jail/ 18 months’ Probation
- Jimalee Willis- 4 months County Jail/ 3 years’ Probation
- Joseph Hochberg- 6 months County Jail
- Robert McMullen- 90 days County Jail/1-year Probation
- William Williams- 5 years’ Probation
- Casey Ross- 5 years’ Probation
- Patricia Greene- 5 years’ Probation